There’s little else that says “Hawai‘i” better than a fl ower LEI — THIS GARLAND OF FLOWERS that is given upon greeting guests is a fragrant symbol of aloha . Lei can be as simple as a chain- like string of perfumed plumeria, or as intricate as a multibraided haku lei , composed of fl owers, berries and leaves. Either way, it’s an honor to receive one.
Many hotels and resorts off er LEI- MAKING CLASSES, sometimes for free. Ask your concierge if there’s a class nearby.
Another way to see Hawai‘i’s gorgeous blooms is to explore some of the island’s botanical gardens.
MAUI TROPICAL PLANTATION ’s Tropical Express Tour. It’s a 45-minute loop tour around the plantation’s grounds — you’ll even get a lesson on how to husk a coconut! After the tour, walk the interior gardens, peruse the gift shops or dine at The Mill House. Visit mauitropicalplantation.com.
MAUI NUI BOTANICAL GARDENS is dedicated to the protection of Maui’s native plants and cultural heritage. The gardens off er guided and self-guided tours as well as workshops and special events throughout the year. Visit mnbg. org.
KULA BOTANICAL GARDEN was established in 1968 by Warren and Helen McCord as a showcase for Warren’s landscape architecture business. Today, the garden, located on the slopes of Haleakalā, is 8 acres of vibrant, cultivated foliage; each plant labeled with its name. The gardens are also home to a Jackson’s chameleon exhibit, an aviary and many nēnē geese (Hawai‘i’s state bird). Visit kulabotanicalgarden.com.